M.A. East Asian Art - London

Sotheby´s Institute of Art

Application deadline: July 31; Non EU: May 31; Scholarships: April 30
Tuition fee:
  • £ 24,200 / Module (EEA)
  • £ 26,675 / Module (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 14 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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For over forty years Sotheby´s Institute of Art has been preparing students for careers in the international art world. Our vision is to be universally acknowledged as the premier provider of advanced object-based art education, whose graduates combine passion for the visual arts with scholarship, connoisseurship and market sophistication in order to flourish as leaders in the global art market.

The art history of China, Japan and Korea from the Neolithic to the present day is the focus of this unique programme, designed for those who wish to become Asian art specialists. The course offers an art historical training in key features and concepts, encouraging students to make cross-cultural links in the art history of East Asia.

Teaching focuses on an object-based approach and is organised into three strands: ritual and religious art, decorative art and pictorial art. Another unique aspect to this programme is the additional knowledge of auction house, art market, museum and gallery practices which equip students for professional careers within the Asian art field. Graduates go on to pursue a variety of careers within the academic, museum and auction house world as well as opening their own specialist galleries.

Handling sessions and study visits include visits to major collections in London and Germany as well as a longer study trip to East Asia.

Students with no prior background in Asian art may consider our summer courses in Asian art and our 15-week Semester course, Styles in Asian Art.


All of the Masters programmes at Sothebys Institute of Art in London and New York are enhanced by a core curriculum that provides a powerful set of professional skills and critical understandings for our students to mobilize at the completion of their degrees. With 45 years of experience in providing specialized programmes for highly motivated and focused students, Sotheby's Institute has prepared generations of art world professionals to flourish as leaders in the field.

Drawing on this experience and reflecting the extraordinary success of our graduates in a wide variety of professional venues, the Institutes core curriculum brings students from all areas of study together for a common introduction to current issues in the art world its structures and organizations, as well as its essential skills and protocols. Site visits, lectures and panels, case studies (including, for example, Sothebys auction house, the Metropolitan Museum and Frieze Art Fair) and workshops provide students with both new information and context, as well as real-world examples and experiences.

The first semester begins with an intensive and multi-faceted introductory unit which explores six major topics, each vital to successful engagement in the professional art world.

* Mapping the Art World: structures and networks
* How to approach art: from historic to contemporary; visual literacy
* The Art Market; history, development and emerging markets
* Collecting, Collections & Exhibitions: private, corporate and institutional
* Business & Valuation: concepts, finance, investment
* Law & Ethics: principles, cases and authenticity

The first semester will also introduce students to core study skills at post-graduate level including academic and professional writing and good practice. The second semester will focus on the application of this foundational knowledge and skill-set through practice-oriented content and individual or group projects in each area of study.
The core curriculum, combined with the focused study of the six MA curricula, equips Sotheby's Institute students with vital skills for the art world.


All postgraduate programmes (Master´s Degrees and Postgraduate Diplomas) require the completion of a BA degree or equivalent, with a major or minor in Art History. Exceptions to the undergraduate art history requirement can be made, based upon an applicant's experience in the visual arts or the relevance of other areas of study.


Transcripts are required for entry onto one of our Master´s Degrees or Postgraduate Diplomas. Please forward your official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate-level programmes attended directly to the Institute from your college or university.

Letters of RecommendationYou will need to designate 2 referees to support your application. These can be both academic references or, in case you have working experience, one can be a professional reference.

Sample of Written WorkYou will be required to include in your application a marked paper (from your BA course) or a newly-written 1000-word review of an art exhibition or artist that you like

InterviewsAll full-time applicants for postgraduate programmes will be invited to schedule an interview with a member of the Institute's staff after receipt of all required application materials. Interviews will be scheduled by the Admissions Manager. You will be contacted at the appropriate time to make such arrangements. The interviewer will assess the candidate's aptitude for the programme, level of English skill and commitment to study. Interviews are held in London throughout the year and can also be conducted by telephone.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
TOEFL iBT® test: 100

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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